Did you know song parodies were being made by well-known composers like J. S. Bach and Mozart? Parody songs go way back to the 16th century when some of these remade songs were funny, and others were more like serious covers.
In more modern times, they are made in fun and humor with silly performance styles and music videos to go along with the fun.
Are you thinking about making your own? This process can be way more approachable than you may think! The key is making sure you know what you want out of your parody and putting a lot of energy and personality into your lyrics and performance.
You don't have to be the best singer or musician to make a good parody! Let me take you through the key steps you want to ensure you don't miss when planning your song.
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There are several different ways you can make a parody song. Most of the time, people want to go for a comedic approach, but you can switch things up some and do more kid-friendly fun, adult humor, political humor, or something unique of your own.
Are you looking to do a parody of a very particular song? Do you want to do a parody of a person in general?
Are you looking to poke fun at a whole genre? An entire era of music? Start your process by figuring out what style you will be going for when you are creating this song.
Once you know what style you want to go with, it's time to narrow down on that song, artist, genre, or period of music and do some research.
Study the subject and figure out what angle you will be taking. Study the elements of the song or style of music to make sure you can tap into that same energy (or an impression of that energy) for your song.
Don't be afraid to dive deep into some Google or Youtube research!
Are you going to do a short section of a song, or will you copy another song's structure? If you want to make a parody that is just like another song, you can choose to copy that exact song structure.
If you're going for a parody of a person or a genre as a whole, you may have more creative control over the song structure.
To get their point across, some parody songs only have a verse and a chorus. Some parodies add sections that aren't in the original song or style to add unique flavor to the song.
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You will likely be taking the same melodic concepts as the song you are parodying, so now is the time to let your lyrical skills shine!
Creating a parody from a particular song allows you to easily take from that song's rhyming scheme and phrasing and create your own lyrical content that will match. Make sure your lyrics match the parody style you chose in the first step!
If you are making a more abstract parody song, you may want to borrow song sections from multiple songs.
For example, if you are making a parody of an artist and not just one of their songs, you may opt for a medley-style parody that combines many of that artist's most popular songs into one song.
Writing the song is a big part of creating your parody, but performing your song live or in the studio is a big part of what will make or break the effectiveness of your parody.
Again, you don't need to be a music pro to put on a good show in the world of parodies. It's all about the energy and how much fun you're having with it!
The first thing you want to do once you have your song written is to get very familiar with the lyrics.
You won't want to be unprepared and overthinking about your ability to remember the lyrics since so much will go into the performance aspect of your parody. Not knowing your lyrics well will take a lot away from the fun of it all.
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The easiest way to do a parody is to find an instrumental of a particular song you are parodying. If you are doing a parody of an artist, genre, or period of music, you will need to be on the hunt for a music producer or be able to create a beat yourself.
Custom beats will be a great help in this case, but many premade beats available for sale, for lease, or free could also work for you.
You could also use a simple instrument like a guitar or piano to do your parody if you have the talent to perform with your vocals and an instrument! If you can't play and sing, consider grabbing a friend to play along with your parody performance.
Before recording or performing, go through performing your lyrics to the instrumental and see how much energy you can put into the song. Are you trying to mimic someone in particular? Practice singing their songs in their style.
Are you looking to do a video? You will need a ton of practice with getting in character for your parody, along with the set, makeup, and outfit creativity as well!
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Once you have enough practice and style in your practice sessions, go for it! The key is to know that this is all in fun and lose your inhibitions in the process of recording or performing your parody song.
If you can, get other people involved with the fun to make it a more interactive experience!
Are you worried about the difficulty of coming up with rhymes? Try a tool like Rhyme Zone to help you write lyrics that will fit the song that you are doing a parody of.
Note that you don't have to change every single lyric, and you can keep some things the same.
Share your parody on social media and consider uploading it to a site like Youtube or Soundcloud.
Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter react positively to comedic content, so consider promoting your post with ads from these platforms to boost your visibility.
If you plan to put out a huge and more official release of a parody song, you will need to clear the rights with the artists/composer of the original song.
Attempting to upload parody songs that use the same instrumentation of a song to a site like Youtube may result in the removal of your video if you don't have the rights. You can consider buying a custom instrumental to help avoid issues like these.
The best parodies don't skimp out on the little details of the original song that they are making fun of. Don't forget to add adlibs, harmonies, and doubled vocals, just like you hear in the original tunes.
This adds much more appeal to your parody since it helps your song sound just like the original, making it even more hilarious and impressive to hear as a listener.
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As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
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